Food For Thought – Empty Restaurant Dishes

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Piled Plates In Restaurant

My Mom has always stacked empty dishes up after finishing a meal at a restaurant. The stack generally winds up in front of someone else. It always annoyed me. Why? First of all, because I didn’t like them in front of me if I didn’t eat them all. Second, because whatever is on one plate gets on the top or bottom of another plate and I felt bad thinking of someone in the kitchen unstacking them and getting stuff all over their hands. Or, if it were at my house and she did it, me getting stuff all over my hands. RB and I took the boys out to eat at Applebee’s last week and I found myself stacking the dishes. I couldn’t even believe it. Do you stack the dishes as they become empty?

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patricia Marsden July 30, 2011 - 7:19 am

A restaurant must legally sanitize dishes properly in an automatic dishwasher pro grade. I stack because for the amount of people at the table usuallym, there is little room with all the glasses, xups, plates, bowls, condiments, bread, butter, etc.

Now it a waiter cleared the table quickly and restocked, I stack less.

The reality is that they don’t–maybe because they do not want people to linger but get out so they can reset for the next group. So much for a leisurely meal. My tip reflects the service I get or not.

Royalegacy July 30, 2011 - 10:54 am

I can’t even remember the last time that we were at a restaurant. My husband used to be a pro-gourmet chef. I get fed good at home. He won’t step in a restaurant. All restaurant food to him is frozen dinners (which most of it is). I don’t like to stack dishes at home until they have been rinsed off (and this is from an ex-professional dishwasher).

erin August 8, 2011 - 2:22 pm

I stack dishes. I always put the least messy ones on the bottom. I think it makes it easier for the waiter to clear a table, rather than them reaching all over to get the dishes.

won August 9, 2011 - 12:44 pm

There’s only two of us…so it’s never been a consideration. Interesting to think about for larger families.


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